جالِسْ أهْلَ الوَرَعِ والحِكْمَةِ، وأكثِرْ مُناقَشَتَهُمْ، فإنَّكَ إنْ كُنتَ جاهلاً عَلَّمُوكَ، وإنْ كُنْتَ عالِماً إزدَدْتَ عِلماً۔
Sit in the company of the people of piety and wisdom and increase your discourse with them, for if you are ignorant they will enlighten you and if you are knowledgeable, you will increase your knowledge.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he advises Muslims to sit in the company of people who possess piety and wisdom, and to engage in discussions with them. By doing so, one can benefit from their knowledge and wisdom, regardless of whether they are ignorant or knowledgeable themselves.
Let us delve into the key words of this Hadith to gain a deeper understanding. The word (sit) "جالِسْ" implies actively seeking the company of the righteous individuals. It signifies the importance of physical presence and active engagement in order to benefit from their wisdom and knowledge. The phrase (people of piety and wisdom) "أهْلَ الوَرَعِ والحِكْمَةِ" refers to those individuals who possess both righteousness and wisdom. They are individuals who not only adhere to the teachings of Islam but also possess deep understanding and insight.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of increasing one's discourse with these individuals. This means actively participating in discussions, asking questions, and seeking clarification. By doing so, one can gain knowledge and enlightenment. The Imam highlights that even if one is ignorant, sitting with the people of piety and wisdom will enlighten them and increase their understanding. On the other hand, if one is already knowledgeable, engaging in discourse with them will further enhance their knowledge.
This Hadith aligns perfectly with the teachings of the Quran. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of seeking knowledge and wisdom. In Surah Al-Zumar, verse 9, Allah says,
Say, 'Are those who know equal to those who do not know?' Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.
This verse highlights the distinction between those who possess knowledge and those who do not. It emphasizes the superiority of knowledge and understanding.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Mujadila, verse 11, Allah says,
Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees.
This verse emphasizes that those who possess knowledge will be elevated in rank by Allah. It further emphasizes the importance of seeking knowledge and engaging with knowledgeable individuals.
The consequences of following the advice of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in this Hadith are profound. By sitting in the company of the people of piety and wisdom, Muslims can gain a deeper understanding of Islam and its teachings. They can learn from the experiences and insights of others, and broaden their horizons. This not only benefits them individually but also enables them to contribute positively to their communities.
Engaging in discourse with knowledgeable individuals also fosters critical thinking and intellectual growth. It allows Muslims to question and seek clarification on matters of faith and practice. This, in turn, strengthens their conviction and deepens their understanding of Islam.
Moreover, sitting with the people of piety and wisdom cultivates humility and a sense of awe towards the vastness of knowledge. It reminds Muslims that there is always room for growth and learning, regardless of their current level of knowledge. This humility is a key characteristic of a true seeker of knowledge.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of seeking the company of the people of piety and wisdom and engaging in discourse with them. By doing so, Muslims can benefit from their knowledge and wisdom, regardless of their own level of understanding. This Hadith aligns perfectly with the teachings of the Quran, which emphasize the importance of seeking knowledge and understanding. Following the advice of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in this Hadith leads to personal growth, intellectual development, and a deeper connection with Islam. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to seek knowledge and benefit from the wisdom of others.
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